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Building By Faith

Hebrews 11:7

Almost everybody has heard about Noah and the ark. Although his entry in this directory of faithful people is brief, the Old Testament account of his life occupies four whole chapters (Genesis 6:1-9:29). It is a real-life demonstration of the judgement of the wicked, and salvation of the righteous.

Relocating In Faith

Hebrews 11:8-10

It was not Abraham's idea to move from Ur in what is now southern Iraq. While he was there, God told him to leave what was familiar and go somewhere that he did not know (Genesis 12:1). The purpose was to make a great nation from that man.

Faith To Let God Work

Hebrews 11:11-12

Sarah's story (Genesis 11:29-23:19) does not seem to be one of consistent faith.

Dying In Faith

Hebrews 11:13-14

For many people today, 'faith' is a personal means to tangible benefit. They say, 'Trust the Lord and your prayers will be answered'; or 'Believe God for God things and they will come to you'. But that is not the whole story of faith. Without qualification, those statements can be profoundly misleading, disappointing and faith-sapping .

Looking Forward In Faith

Hebrews 11:15-16

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all lived nomadic lives. Moving from place to place, to find grazing for their animals, their lifestyle was radically different from their ancestral city of Ur. The only reason not to go back was that God had called the family out of urban comfort to wherever God was leading them.

Tested In Faith

Hebrews 11:17-19

As we grow up in the school of faith, the tests get harder. It was like that for Abraham. He had no Bible, Old or New Testament, no supportive group of faithful people around him. Perhaps God only spoke to him seven times over many years. In that time, Abraham got some things badly wrong, but he still trusted the Creator God and was willing to forsake the comfort of a settled life to find God's reward.

True Faith Continues To Be Effective

Hebrews 11:20-22

This passage is prefaced by: "All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised …" (Hebrews 11:13). The writer is saying that faith often does not have an immediate benefit, but the future blessing is unimaginably big. Abraham and Sarah died without seeing what they had given their lives for. Before Abraham's death, he blessed his descendants with the promise of God's faithfulness.

Identifying In Faith

Hebrews 11:23-25

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had done their job in faith, raising their family believing God's promises – that He was preparing a nation from one family. Jacob's new name was Israel (Genesis 32:28), and so the children of Israel were his sons and their descendants.

Motivated By Faith

Hebrews 11:26-27

Moses was raised as an Egyptian prince in Pharaoh's palace, but he knew he was not an Egyptian. He was a Hebrew, a descendent of Abraham to whom God promised that a huge nation would come from his descendants, and they would live in the land of Canaan, not Egypt. Moses was uneasy about his privileged position while his fellow Hebrews were beaten as slave workers to build Pharaoh's treasure cities.

Obeying In Faith

Hebrews 11:28-29

80 year old Moses was in uncharted territory. The massive assignments God gave him had no dry run or years of practice. There was no guarantee from experience that they would be effective, while potentially putting Moses at risk from Pharaoh, the Egyptians and the Israelites. But he went back to Egypt because he decided to believe God and obey. Moses’ faith rested on God's Word about a series of unique instructions.